If you were a LOST fan, you recognize the title of today’s post as the motto for survival on that mysterious island. As a writer, it often seems I exist on an island too. Looking back on this past year of blogging, I saw that I had written three posts about the need for writers to support each other.
Although members of my family offer support for my writing in other ways, they don’t beta read for me. My number of non-writer friends is small and only one of those has read or expressed any other interest my work. Fellow writers are my readers. One brave writer has even volunteered to read my novel for the third time.
I suppose it’s understandable that writers best understand the support other writers need to keep working in face of incredible odds. In a recent blog post, Michelle Davidson Argyle expressed hurt that some family and friends did not support her by reading her indie-published novella Cinders. That’s sad, but more disturbing is a fact lamented in the comments on that post. Fellow authors don’t always support each other either!
In my two years of blogging, I’ve “met” a few published authors. I’ve also become aware how important promotion is for a book’s success. Most of the authors I know online work hard to publicize their own books. This applies to traditional, small press, and indie published books alike, but especially to debut authors. Since I, too, plan to be one, I’m concerned.
Unfortunately, those authors who need the least publicity get the most from their traditional publishers, e.g.: King, Grisham, Franzen. Midlist, debut, and small-pressed authors get only a little help from their publishers. Indie authors have to do it all themselves.
Fair is fair. I can’t expect my fellow writers to support me, if I don’t support them. In 2011, I plan to make a bigger effort to seek out, read, and spread the word on debut novels—particularly those novels written by authors who’ve chosen the indie path.
No author wants to “die alone.” Can we all vow to live together?
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